15 Major Problems faced by truck drivers in AustraliaPHCS
15 Major Problems faced by truck drivers in Australia
Truck drivers in Australia face numerous problems in their day-to-day lives. These Problems if not well addressed often result in resources and property damages, loss of lives, and job satisfaction.
These problems are not limited to poor working conditions, theft and property damages, chronic pains, obesity, accidents, extreme weather conditions, and low wages just to name a few.
These problems became more prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Australian Transportation industry needs to address these problems to improve the working conditions of its truck drivers.
The number one major problem encountered by many truck drivers is the problem of obesity. Due to the nature of the job, sitting in one position for extremely long working hours a day, they are often unlikely to become overweight.
Studies revealed that about 75% of Australian truck drivers are overweight. Their sedentary lifestyles, poor diet, stress, and lack of sleep often result in to increase in weight.
The overweight problem among truck drivers often results in accidents, many health challenges, and decreased productivity.
Just like many other jobs out there, truck drivers in Australia often face psychological stress as a result of their nature of work.
They often feel socially isolated from friends, family, and loved ones. This usually results in feelings of loneliness.
Truck drivers also suffer from trauma resulting from financial challenges. Truck drivers are responsible for the safety of themselves, their cargo, and other road users. This can be a major source of stress, especially in difficult weather conditions or on busy roads.
They also suffer psychologically, from the deadline often given to them to carry and transport goods from one place to another.
The third major problem faced by truck drivers in Australia is the issue of job security. The truck industry is one such industry with no security guarantee on the job you hold. If a driver gets into an accident or suffers major health challenges, they are likely to be replaced by another. This often results in the inability of truckers to get a new job within the industry. Some are compensated just very little for a short while.
The notion of job insecurity often puts most drivers under stress anxiety and worries about their future.
There are very of regulations in the truck industry, which means that no specific laws are been implemented that can help guide and secure the future of truck drivers. This is a cause for great concern and a worrying one for many Australian truck drivers.
The trucking industry in Australia is facing a severe driver shortage, which is putting pressure on existing drivers to work longer hours.
The average truck driver in Australia is about 45 years and above and most of these drivers are near their retirement age.
The decline in several truck drivers in Australia has had a significant impact on the transport industry.
Also, older drivers are not much aware of the technological advances that come with modern trucks, this also results in most of them retiring early.
Limited Parking space
There are very few truck parking spaces in Australia to accommodate all the various trucks on the road.
This usually results in most truckers paying extra fees to park their trucks in other areas.
The limited number of parking space often put truckers and their trucks at risk as they are required to park on someone’s private property for a fee.
A limited number of the Rest stop
Truck drivers are often required to stop at certain locations called rest stop to park their truck, eat, bathe and get a good sleep. The issue in Australia is that the number of these rest stops is very limited.
The few available truck stops are in poor hygiene sanitation and poorly maintained. This is more common among rest tops located in rural areas. This often results in truckers moving to insecure locations or far distance areas in other to have a rest.
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Disrespect from Authorities
During the transit of freight across various provinces in Australia, many truckers often encounter issues with authorities like local police and border control officials, who regularly do routine checks in very poor manners.
Sometimes, truck drivers are discriminated against by their authorities either because of their shape, ethnicity or colour.
Truck drivers are sometimes, required to pay brides before they are allowed to pass in some checkpoints.
Poor Vehicle Maintenance
Some drivers get crazy with the nature of the maintenance of the trucks. Some trucks are outdated or old, which makes it very difficult for locomotion.
Trucks that go on repairs and maintenance, often take a lot of time before they are been given back to drivers for services.
The poor maintenance of trucks often puts a strain on drivers’ income, as they are often required to use their income to fix the issues that arise during their truck-driving journey.
Poor working conditions/ Low wages
Some truck drivers in Australia are underpaid. Most are not under a fixed salary but are paid on pre-load. This often results in most truck drivers working for very long hours to have a good paycheck.
Most truck drivers are often made to work in remote areas or isolated areas that are far from the main town and home. This often keeps their distance from their loved ones and family.
Health and safety problems
Health problem is the most common challenge faced by most truck drivers across the world. They are often required to drive by seating for long periods. This is often stressful and tiring, causing chronic back pains and other health-related conditions.
Other major health challenges include obesity, chronic pain, cardiovascular disease, and mental health issues.
The trucking industry has always faced the issue of a shortage of experienced and professional drivers. In Australia, the situation has gotten worse since the outbreak of the coronavirus in 2020.
The issue with driver retention lies in the fact that most truck drivers work for extremely long hours, some do not receive any motivation, and their paychecks are unattractive. This usually pushes most drivers to quit working for either private firms or the government.
Australian truck drivers also faced the problem of accidents. These accidents are caused by several factors. Extreme bad weather conditions such as rainfalls, storms, wind, and animal strays on the road often result in both minor and major accidents among truck drivers in Australia.
Similarly, accidents often occur when vehicles are in poor conditions and also as a result of poor health conditions of these truck drivers such as fatigue and sometimes from carelessness of the drivers.
Accidents among truck drivers in Australia can also result from the poor state of the road and the carelessness of pedestrians on the highways.
Extreme weather conditions
Extreme weather conditions can be another major problem faced by truck drivers in Australia. Poor weather conditions such as floods, heavy rainfall, cyclones, heat waves, and sometimes bushfires.
These extreme weather conditions often cause significant disruption in road transport networks, making it very difficult for truck drivers to navigate their way.
Truck drivers need to be trained on how to handle the difficult situations that arise from extreme weather conditions and should be provided with other safety measures.
Bad roads are another major concern faced by truck drivers in Australia. Due to the geographical terrain of the landscape in Australia, not all roads are in good shape especially those in remote areas.
Also, the harsh geographical climate results in the poor state of some major roads.
A 20221 research shows that more than 78% of Australian truck drivers are much more concerned with the nature of the roads while about 60% of the truck drivers complained they experience a tear on their truck as a result of the bad roads.
The poor state of the roads often results in accidents, fuel wastage, high cost of truck maintenance etc.
Theft and material security
The last major problem faced by Australian truck drivers is the issue of theft and materials security. Most truck drivers and their trucks are vulnerable in most remote areas. They are often targeted by gangs who often kidnap them for ransom or steal valuable goods in their truck.
The absence of secure parking areas in some parts of Australia gives room to these attacks.